Can I Sue My Urologist For Malpractice in West Palm Beach?
Gregg Hollander | January 5, 2022 | Medical Malpractice
Urologists are medical specialists who focus on treating conditions of the urinary tract. They also treat conditions related to the male reproductive system.
The organs covered by the field of urology include:
- Urinary bladder
- Seminal vesicles
A urologist has specialized knowledge regarding how these organs work and the medical conditions and diseases that might affect these organs. Furthermore, a urologist also needs to understand pediatrics, internal medicine, gynecology, and other medical specialties.
When a urologist makes a mistake or error, the patient could suffer injuries. In some cases, the harm may be permanent. Depending on the facts of the case, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim against the urologist.
What Types of Conditions and Procedures Are Covered by Urology?
A urologist can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including surgical and non-surgical problems.
Conditions that a urologist might treat include, but are not limited to:
- Bladder cancer
- Urinary tract infections
- Prostate cancer
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Urinary incontinence
- Male impotence and erectile dysfunction
- Hyperplasia or benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Proteinuria (increased protein in the urine)
- Correction of congenital abnormalities of the reproductive systems or urinary system
- Performing vasectomies, cystectomies, circumcisions, and orchiectomy (removal of the testicles)
If a urologist makes a mistake, a patient could become impotent or unable to achieve an erection. In addition, a person may develop irreversible incontinence. A urologist’s negligence could lead to life-threatening or painful, life-altering conditions.
What Are Common Causes of Urology Mistakes?
Diagnosing and treating urinary disorders and male reproductive disorders is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Urologists’ medical errors in diagnosing or treating urological conditions can result in complications and unnecessary surgeries or invasive procedures.
Common causes of urology mistakes include, but are not limited to:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a condition
- Failure to diagnose a urological condition
- Circumcision and vasectomy errors
- Failure to perform necessary diagnostic tests and procedures in a timely fashion
- Failing to recommend required examinations, including prostate exams
- Misinterpreting the results of diagnostic tests and lab work
- Surgical errors, including incorrect surgery, anesthesia errors, and leaving things inside a patient
- Failure to educate a patient on their condition and treatment options
- Failing to monitor patients after a procedure for signs of infection and complications
- Medication errors, including prescribing the wrong medication, incorrect dose, and failing to check for drug interactions
Many of these mistakes are caused by poor communication and human error. Rushing to complete a task, working too many hours, and working while impaired can cause urology mistakes and errors.
Proving Urology Malpractice
In any medical malpractice case, you must prove the legal elements of malpractice to recover compensation for damages. Urology malpractice is no different.
Under Florida medical malpractice laws, you must prove each of the following elements of malpractice to win your case:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
In a urology malpractice case, the duty of care exists in a doctor-patient relationship. The doctor has a duty to provide a reasonable level of care based on what is appropriate and acceptable for a given situation. In other words, the standard is based on what a doctor with similar education and experience would have done in the same or similar situation.
You have the burden of proving that the urologist breached the duty of care by failing to provide a level of care that meets the acceptable standard of care. Medical experts are needed to establish the standard of care and explain how the urologist’s conduct fell short of the acceptable standard of care.
However, proving the doctor made a mistake is not sufficient to win a medical malpractice case. You must also prove that the doctor’s conduct was a direct and proximate cause of your injury. Additionally, you must prove that the doctor’s conduct caused you to sustain damages.
What Damages Are Available for a Urology Malpractice Case?
A urology mistake can have devastating emotional and physical consequences for a patient. The patient may need extensive treatment for complications. In addition, there could be unnecessary side effects, pain, additional conditions, and death.
The damages a person may receive for urology malpractice include:
- The cost of medical treatment and care
- Future medical expenses and costs
- Loss of income and benefits
- Future lost wages and reduced earning potential
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Impairments and disabilities
- Rehabilitation, physical, and occupational therapies
- Ongoing personal care and long-term nursing care
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
If a family loses a loved one because of mistakes made by a urologist, the family may be entitled to wrongful death benefits.
While money does not undo the pain, grief, and other damages caused by urology malpractice, it can give you a measure of financial security and allow you to continue receiving the care and treatment you need. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit also sheds light on a urologist’s negligence so that future patients might not suffer the same pain you have endured.
Is There a Cap on Compensation if I Sue My Urologist?
Florida does not impose a cap on compensation for economic damages, such as medical bills and lost income. However, you must prove that you incurred the expenses and the cost of the damages.
Until recently, Florida had a cap on the amount of non-economic damages a person could receive for medical malpractice. However, a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2017 states that medical malpractice victims should receive full compensation for their non-economic or “pain and suffering” damages.
A medical malpractice lawyer can discuss how the courts value damages and how much your case might be worth.
Do I Have a Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit Against My Urologist?
Generally, you have just two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit under Florida’s statute of limitations. In most cases, the time begins when the malpractice occurred. However, that could change if you did not find out about your injury or condition right away.
The discovery rule extends the time to file a medical malpractice case based on when you discovered a doctor’s mistake caused you harm OR the date you reasonably should have discovered the malpractice. Regardless, it is best to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal right to sue your urologist for malpractice.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
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Boca Raton, FL 33433
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West Palm Beach, FL 33401